Community Blog: Closing in on the counterfeits

June 23, 2010

Police and customs officials confiscated counterfeit soccer merchanidise sold by traders in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape on Tuesday. Counterfeit Manchester United scarfs, beanies and England soccer team jerseys, among other gear, were confiscated.

Charl Potgieter, of Bowman Gilfillan Attorneys, a Sandton-based corporate law firm with offices in Johannesburg, Cape Town and London, was among the confiscators.

He said the firm was representing sports companies Nike and Umbro and Manchester United Football Club. “We are here for the Fifa World Cup. We are doing enforcements on guys selling counterfeit (soccer) goods at flea markets, Fifa fan parks and around the stadiums,” said Potgieter.

He said  they were not only confiscating the goods but were also giving the “offenders”  warnings which were recorded in a book. “They can be charged R5000 for selling counterfeit goods. We are just saying to them: Look, you are not allowed to sell fake goods.”

This raised the ire of traders looking at cashing in on the national arts festival currently under way in the City of Saints (Grahamstown).

Babakar Ndaiye, a trader from Senegal said: “We feel so bad that our stock is confiscated because we buy it from the market. The officials ought to deal with importers and not retailers.” He alleged the officials did not raid the Village Green fair which was “populated by white people”.

Another trader, Julie Kapinga, from the Congo, said: “It’s not fair, these white people are bringing apartheid to South Africa. They are not doing their jobs properly. Look, we buy our stuff from well-known retail companies that I won’t name. They must approach these companies and leave us alone.”

Kayembe Augustine echoed Kapinga’s sentiments.  Unfazed, he said: “They can take our stuff today. Tomorrow we will go and restock.”

This blog was written by a community blogger  chosen  to write  on their community’s experience of the  World Cup.

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